Nostalgia for the Modern: State Secularism and Everyday Politics in Turkey
Duke University Press, 2006 M08 30 - 240 pages
As the twentieth century drew to a close, the unity and authority of the secularist Turkish state were challenged by the rise of political Islam and Kurdish separatism on the one hand and by the increasing demands of the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank on the other. While the Turkish government had long limited Islam—the religion of the overwhelming majority of its citizens—to the private sphere, it burst into the public arena in the late 1990s, becoming part of party politics. As religion became political, symbols of Kemalism—the official ideology of the Turkish Republic founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1923—spread throughout the private sphere. In Nostalgia for the Modern, Esra Özyürek analyzes the ways that Turkish citizens began to express an attachment to—and nostalgia for—the secularist, modernist, and nationalist foundations of the Turkish Republic.
Drawing on her ethnographic research in Istanbul and Ankara during the late 1990s, Özyürek describes how ordinary Turkish citizens demonstrated their affinity for Kemalism in the ways they organized their domestic space, decorated their walls, told their life stories, and interpreted political developments. She examines the recent interest in the private lives of the founding generation of the Republic, reflects on several privately organized museum exhibits about the early Republic, and considers the proliferation in homes and businesses of pictures of Atatürk, the most potent symbol of the secular Turkish state. She also explores the organization of the 1998 celebrations marking the Republic’s seventy-fifth anniversary. Özyürek’s insights into how state ideologies spread through private and personal realms of life have implications for all societies confronting the simultaneous rise of neoliberalism and politicized religion.
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Thefocus on the relationship between state and culture refers both to a methodological approach—the study of politics and the state using culturalist methods—and a substantive one that treats signifying practices as an essential ...
I am grateful to this book for being the mediator of my most meaningful relationships in life and the transformer of already existing ones. Nearly every single issue I explore in this book was introduced to me for the first time during ...
... that the end of the twentieth century produced a new kind of politics—or a new governmentality, to use Michel Foucault's (1991) language—that allowed new imaginations of the public, the state, and the state-citizen relationship.
Market-oriented modernization projects aim to carry every possible object or relationship into a market regulated by a Smithian ''invisible hand.'' In the late stage of capitalism we live in, the biggest challenge is to constantly ...
Nostalgia plays another specific role in Turkey's current relationship with Europe. Since the eighteenth century scholars have defined temporality, a constant sense of newness, as a central aspect of modernity.9 Contemporary scholarship ...
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The Public History in the Private Story
Displaying Transformations in Private Lives
The Commodification of State Iconography
Civilian Celebrations of the Turkish State
Kemalist and Islamist Versions of the Early Republic